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Meet wxrd, a standalone Wayland compositor for xrdesktop

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From its inception, an important use case for xrdesktop was that applications that are already running on the 2D desktop should be seamlessly available in VR at the press of a button. Although it is possible to implement something like this in a desktop agnostic fashion with pure xlib/xcb proof of concept: x3d, for performance and robustness reasons we opted for code integration into window managers. Typically, window managers have an internal abstraction of the windows they manage that is much easier to reliably consume than the raw X11 protocol.

The first two window manager integrations we started out with were a patchset for gnome-shell and a kwin plugin. The window manager integration approach unfortunately suffers several drawbacks.

Most importantly however, not everyone is running kwin or gnome-shell, and adding integration into more and more window managers would result in an unmaintainable mess.

Each window manager is shipped in a different version on different distributions too. The gnome-shell patchset needs to be adjusted for every major version change. The kwin plugin needs to be compiled for a specific kwin version, meaning an Ubuntu PPA with an updated KDE version would break a packaged version of the plugin.

While the ability to mirror already running 2D applications without good performance has been a unique feature of xrdesktop, which is enjoyed by our users and will still be maintained, we have also heard many voices who desire a more native XR solution, especially looking at standalone devices.

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Also: Collabora announce wxrd, a standalone Wayland compositor for xrdesktopx

WXRD Is A New Wayland Compositor...

  • WXRD Is A New Wayland Compositor Focused On XR/VR Use-Cases

    For the Valve-funded Xrdesktop has allowed GNOME and KDE desktops to be VR-aware, Collabora has been developing WXRD as a standalone Wayland compositor for XR/VR use-cases.

    WXRD is a standalone Wayland compositor for the xrdesktop to offer better integration than what can be achieved using the existing patches around KDE KWin and GNOME Shell integration. WXRD is built atop the wl-roots Wayland support library as well as WXRC as a Wayland XR compositor for VR headsets. WXRC hasn't seen too much activity lately while now Collabora is pushing ahead with WXRD as the new XR/VR Wayland compositor.

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